Junk Food

Top 4 Back-to-School Snack Trends

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Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 9:00 AM
click to enlarge a cafeteria - LEO-SETÄ/FLICKR

In late August, composition books fly off the shelves. Kids and parent shuffle through Office Depot, grabbing rulers, graphing calculators, highlighters and fancy mechanical pencils the kids will lose six days into the new school year. It's the opening ceremony of a ritual reintegration of scholarship into the daily lives of young people, replacing Playstation binges and 12-hour sleep sessions.

With the beginning of school year, teachers' rooms are rapidly transformed from pristine, well-organized temples of education to cluttered, dusty holes with garbage cans stacked far beyond the spill-over point with food refuse. While rules typically prohibit students from snacking, students do so anyway -- and frequently fail to bother even looking for the garbage can once they're finished. Thanks to the wrappers and baggies already drifting through campus like urban tumbleweeds, we're noticing some trends.

click to enlarge 5874854879_0965b194c2.jpg
Brisk lemonade
4. Brisk Lemonade:

The one-liter plastic bottle of Brisk is the young scholar's favorite tipple. Often, it's paired with a bag of Cheetos. The drink is a pale yet opaque, chick-hued yellow. It tastes very faintly of lemons.

click to enlarge Nutella - INGA_BERETTA/FLICKR

3. Nutella:

The hazelnut-and-chocolate spread is a breakfast classic, but the high schoolers of today do not so much smear their slices of fluffy white supermarket bread as blanket them, constructing grotesque layer cakes of Nutella-on-white to hoover out of little bundles of plastic wrap. Tell-tale smudges of the substance often grace the edges of desks and tables.

click to enlarge Sunflower seeds - MARIE A.C./FLICKR (ART BY AI WEIWEI)

2. Sunflower Seeds:

Beloved by hamsters, sunflower seeds are also popular with baseball players and high school students, some of whom are baseball players too. Students tend to prefer chile-lime or "red-hot" variations on the standard seed theme. They also prefer not to eat their seeds over a napkin, plate or bowl, instead spitting the salty carapaces onto a desktop pile that may or may not end up brushed into the garbage can.

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